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Remove Search.aol.com virus (Virus Removal Guide)

removal by Alice Woods - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Search.aol.com is a potentially unwanted program (PUP), which pretends to be a regular search engine. At the first glance, it looks like one – but if you try to use it, you might get disappointed with its services.

What is Search.aol.com and what is the AOL Toolbar?

Search.aol.com PUP is known as a browser hijacker. This program can enter your computer in case you have installed any freeware or shareware program lately. We are going to explain this in detail in the next part of this report. Once Search.aol.com enters the victim’s computer, it installs its AOL Toolbar, modifies Internet browsers’ settings and removes the previous homepage from them. Instead of the user’s previous homepage it sets Search.aol.com page as a default one. Therefore, any time you launch your web browser, you might see this rogue search website on the first page. You should remember that websites related to browser hijacker programs are unsafe and should not be explored. Unfortunately, many PC users tend to use whichever search site they see on their main page. As a result, they may experience Search.aol.com redirects.

These redirects can lead them to untrustworthy or insecure web domains that usually belong to third-party sponsors’ web pages. Such page might include suspicious material. For example, insecure websites might offer you free downloads or free software updates, but you should definitely reject such offers. Sadly, such shady downloads can include several PUPs or even malicious programs, which can cause harm to your computer or your personal data. Of course, we are not saying that all of Search.aol.com hijacker redirects are going to end you up on dubious sites, but the majority of them will. Another important fact about this browser hijacker is that it is capable of collecting victim’s browsing activity details. It might gather information about your browsing history, most visited websites, searches made and similar data. Who knows for what purposes this vague application might use such information?

Search.aol.com virus screenshot

Questions about Search.aol.com virus

If you want to secure your computer system in advance or just scan your computer to check whether it does not keep any computer threats or parasites, we recommend you to install ReimageIntego anti-malware software.

How can Search.aol.com hijack affect my computer?

Programs like Search.aol.com browser hijacker are commonly distributed via the bundling method, which is a tricky technique to spread PUPs. Various adware, browser hijackers, plug-ins, and add-ons are known to be distributed the same way. Bundling allows to wrap freeware together with some potentially unwanted applications. Usually, the agreements to install such additional apps are hidden under the Default and Standard installation settings. Many users do not know that they can configure the installation settings while installing new programs to their computer and reject unwanted attachments. To decline such seamless invasion of potentially unwanted programs, you have to opt for Advanced or Custom installation mode. Then the setup window expands and provides a list of suggested optional downloads. Remove the tick from each of such suggestions and proceed to the further installation step.

However, if you have already installed Search.aol.com PUP and its toolbar to your computer, you should remove it. To find the removal guide, please proceed to the next page.

How can I delete this suspicious software from my system?

Search.aol.com virus is a disagreeable program, but if you are an experienced computer user, you will not encounter any difficulties removing this program manually. For that, we have provided a guide below this text. In case you have never dealt with such PUPs before, we recommend using an anti-spyware program. All you need to do with such program is to run a full system scan and then delete the risky programs found on the platform. This automatic removal method is also more advantageous because it prolongs computer protection.

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Search.aol.com virus, follow these steps:

Erase Search.aol.com from Windows systems

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall Search.aol.com and related programs
    Here, look for Search.aol.com or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Remove Search.aol.com from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

Delete Search.aol.com from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove Search.aol.com from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Search.aol.com-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove Search.aol.com, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to Search.aol.com and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Search.aol.com-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Get rid of Search.aol.com from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Search.aol.com and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Search.aol.com removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Eliminate Search.aol.com virus from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the Search.aol.com-related extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Reset MS Edge if that above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Uninstall Search.aol.com from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select Search.aol.com and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Search.aol.com removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Remove Search.aol.com from Google Chrome

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select Search.aol.com and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Search.aol.com removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Erase Search.aol.com from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Search.aol.com or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Search.aol.com, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Search.aol.com removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Alice Woods
Alice Woods - Likes to teach users about virus prevention

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  1. tax says:
    December 2nd, 2015 at 10:13 am

    this search engine just does not work.

  2. nikolaj says:
    December 2nd, 2015 at 10:34 am

    This rogue search add-on forced me to use this search site, and as a result, I was redirected to various toxic websites. I have accidentally installed some stupid software update, which happened to be a trojan virus. I had to bring my computer to a computer soecialist to get it fixed! I am so disappointed! Guys, do not use this trashy search…

  3. Pia says:
    December 2nd, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Oh boy i feel sorry for you. So you did not have an anti-malware program on your PC? You should get one… It helps to prevent such tragic situations.

  4. Vanda says:
    December 2nd, 2015 at 10:48 am

    slows computer down as well! it seems that it is just a small file but computer works WAY slower because of it.

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